The Democratic Awakening

“In Ruling the Void, Peter Mair describes a process by which political parties have retreated from public life and civil society and into the state. Plummeting membership of political parties and turnout in national elections was, he notes, a shared feature of all developed democracies at the end of the 20th century. As a result, political parties ‘have become agencies that govern – in the widest sense of the term – rather than represent. They bring order rather than give voice.’ In turn, ideology withered, and parties became absorbed into an amorphous governing class. They began competing not on the basis of ideas or interests, but on their readiness to govern.”

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